Sam Houston 57

(1-4, 1-2 away)

(6) Oklahoma St 73

(3-0, 3-0 home)

    8:00 PM ET, November 27, 2004

    Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma

    1 2 T
    SHSU 35 2257
    #6OKST 29 4473

    Cowboys struggle through another subpar first half

    STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Joey Graham, John Lucas III and the Oklahoma State Cowboys just needed a little time to get warmed up.

    Graham scored 25 points, Lucas added 17 and Oklahoma State (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) recovered from another subpar first half to beat Sam Houston State 73-57 Saturday night.

    Graham scored 18 points in the second half and Lucas had 14 after the break to help the Cowboys (3-0) overcame a six-point halftime deficit.

    Graham had two crucial baskets off offensive rebounds and Lucas was strong from 3-point range to fuel Oklahoma State's offense while the Bearkats (1-4) kept pushing.

    The Cowboys started their run after trailing 41-40 with 13½ minutes to play. Graham's brother, Stephen Graham, capped a 12-3 run with a two-handed jam only one possession after his brother kept the spurt going with an offensive rebound tip-in amid a crowd of Bearkats.

    "We've just been sluggish coming out the gate," Cowboys associate head coach Sean Sutton said. "It's not a very good pattern to get in. We better get that changed as we continue to go."

    In its last game, Oklahoma State was up by one point at halftime before routing Arkansas-Little Rock 90-65.

    In that game -- and this one, too -- once Lucas got rolling, the Cowboys were on their way to victory. But this time, Joey Graham found his touch, too.

    Lucas' 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 57-48. On the next possession, it was Joey Graham putting back Lucas' miss to stretch the lead again.

    "In the first half, I kind of got the feeling that they weren't going to box me out," said Joey Graham, who had seven of his nine rebounds -- including five on the offensive end -- after halftime. "So, the second half I knew I just had to come out, be aggressive and attack the glass and that's exactly what I did."

    With the shot clock about to expire, Lucas hit another 3 to make it 64-53 and spark another Cowboys spurt. Following free throws by both Graham brothers, the lead extended to 70-53 and the Cowboys were easily in control with 2 minutes to play.

    "At some point in any game, no matter how hard you hold John Lucas down, he is capable of hitting a big shot or shots that will get the Cowboys going," Bearkats coach Bob Marlin said.

    But the Bearkats, who already had losses to Houston, Marquette and Binghamton, gave the Cowboys an unexpected test early on.

    They led 16-12 in the opening minutes and opened a 30-22 lead late in the first half on the strength of 8-for-15 3-point shooting. Othello Alford came off the bench to lead the charge for Sam Houston State with 11 first-half points on 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range.

    "I thought that we had the game where we wanted it and with about 7 minutes to go, the game slipped away," Marlin said.

    Alford scored only two points in the second half to finish with a team-high 13. Joe Thompson added 12 points, Aaron Wade had 11 and Eddy Fobbs scored 10 for the Bearkats.

    Ivan McFarlin had 12 points for Oklahoma State.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2004-05 Season

    » Nov 27, 2004 @OKST 73, SHSU 57Recap